Sunday, June 26, 2005

Explosive fun

The mountains of the northwest are indescribable! I trekked to Mt. St. Helen's today to meet some friends and then go off on my own to hike and see the real volcano. First note to self: If I stay in the NW, I definitely need a car with pick-up to get through these mountains!

Nevertheless, the drive just got more amazing as I headed east. Suddenly, towns, homes and stores, even gas stations drop off and you are completely in the wilderness surrounded by mountains. 504 ends right in the parking lot of the Mt. St. Helen's visitor center. About 1/2 way there on the highway you see it, looming large over all the other mountains and constantly attracting a ring of clouds near the peak. There is still snow, but the skies were blue and I took a million pictures, just a few are here.

The area right near Mt. St. Helen's was obviously largely devastated in 1980. They have left it to regrow and there is a graveyard of stumps among the new wildflowers popping up. Weyerhauser spent millions re-foresting other land nearby. It's all pretty amazing. The photos don't begin to do it justice, but it's still fun to share! (Top left is the foot of Mt. St. Helen's)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Well, I have survived week one in corporate America! the work we are doing is very cool....although I am still getting used to the grey cubicle-ness!

Portland is pretty amazing. Mt. Hood is visible from downtown on a clear day and it's so magical to round the corner on a highway and suddenly see this snowcapped mountain looming over the city. The neighborhoods are varied and interesting to walk in.

Below, you see the row of townhouses where I live and the amazing sunsets we can see off the balcony. We are at the edge of the urban growth boundary and there are rolling farmlands just across the road.

Tomorrow, I head to the woods, pictures of the NW forest to follow!

End of week 1 and oh the sunsets!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

What's a gay pride parade without Barbies kissing! (center of photo)
Property J. Kimel

Portland Building by M. Graves-who is that woman!?
Addendum: Apparently, that woman is Portlandia, "sculpted by Raymond Kaskey. It's the second largest copper statue in the country, second to the Statue of Liberty. In some way, Portlandia is supposed to represent the spirit of Portland. The face on the figure was modeled by Kaskey's wife," according to long time Portland resident, cousin Jordan!
Property J. Kimel

Cool fountain!
Property J. Kimel

That's Mt. Hood on the right! (I think..)
Property J. Kimel

Property J. Kimel

Boys doing a cheer!
Property J. Kimel

Going up from the Train, they don't give you floors, they tell you how far underground you are!
Property J. Kimel

The colors of Portland

Well, today had even more interesting sights to offer. Namely, the people of Portland! I've never seen so many tattoos! I decided to experience the train today since traffic has been so bad. Really nice, clean and nobody ever came to check my ticket. How's that for the honor system? The city is very vibrant and lively, even on a Sunday. Fun to see so many people wandering so many streets. A pleasant change from Atlanta in that respect. (oh and it's not 1000% humidity!)

On my way to the amazing Powell's book store, I ran smack into the gay pride parade. Wow! So many happy and colorful people! Even Starbucks had a float. Oh, how progressive. A few pictures below. What an amazing place for people watching! Powell's, by the way, has a pretty decent selection of ID books and they are open online if you need anything!

I took a walk after that and ended up seeing the Portland Building by none other than Michael Graves. Interesting, but not my cup o'tea. Too linear. And this crazy HUGE statue looming over the front. Not sure who she is.

I wandered to the Saturday market which is chock full of art and music and more colorful Portland residents. Finally, I took a train to a big inner city park with miles of forested walking trails. But I was tired! So I didn't walk too far. They do have a peaceful Vietnam Memorial Garden.

Fact of the day: No sales tax (ever) in Portland! Wheee!
Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Country shed
Property J. Kimel

Property J. Kimel

Portland Vista
Property J. Kimel


Well, it is June 18, and a long time since I 'blogged.' Instead of sending out mass emails and clogging your inbox with pictures, I thought I'd post information here!

Kirby is now a true travler, he was amazing on the plane and has been a real trooper. The roommate's cat is not yet with us, so there is one more hurdle to cross.

Portland is gorgeous!!! especially when it stops raining. Traffic truly rivals Atlanta, and I'd even venture to say it's worse. Mountains everywhere and I even saw a snowcapped one from downtown, but not sure which one that is...

And, I went for a walk this morning. I'm staying in a very new part of town and we are literally across the road from farms with chickens, donkeys, etc. I took a few pictures of the view!